As we head toward the end of the year, I find myself thinking of all the clichéd sayings that, as clichés tend to be, are true. Like, “If you want money, ask for advice; if you want advice, ask for money.” Or “big ideas get big gifts.” Or more basically, “If you don’t ask, you won’t get.”
All this popular wisdom is right on target.
Also on target are the tried and true ways to get those gifts. Articles abound about “online” and mobile giving—and they are on the rise. What is missing from these articles is information on how you push people to their mobile devices or your website in order to give.
Putting up a donate now button or having a number for texting, will not in and of itself bring funds. Just being on the cutting edge of technology is not enough. It’s the efforts you take to interest and involve people in what you do that will make the difference.
How you talk about what you do matters. As does telling about the impact of your work and not just about the activities in which you engage.
You must engage with the new or you will be left behind; but you must not abandon what you have been doing. Unless what you’ve been doing is not to do anything!
Message still matters. You must be able to inspire people to join with you. One gift is nice, but it is your loyal givers who will really make a difference. Gaining loyalty means showing them that they are part of something that is important to them. Talking about what happens because of the work you do together is key.
To talk inspirationally about what you do means that you must have a vision. Spend the last few weeks of this year thinking about your vision for the next (and the one after that). It will pay off big time in the future.
Janet Levine works with nonprofits and educational organizations, helping them to increase fundraising capacity and build more committed boards. Learn more at http://janetlevineconsulting.com. While there, sign up for the free, monthly newsletter.